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tv   Countdown With Keith Olbermann  MSNBC  March 23, 2010 8:00pm-9:00pm EDT

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the brother who wasn't there today, the senator who devoted his life and career to national health care. to driving it, leading it, and inspiring it to actually happen. that is "hardball" for now. thanks for being with us. "countdown with keith olbermann" starts right now. which of these stories will you be talking about tomorrow? a day for the history books. tuesday, march 23, 2010. the day health care reform became the law of the land. >> our presence here today is remarkable and improbable. >> president obama praises the fortitude of every american who helped win this battle. >> we don't fall prey to fear. we are not a nation that does what's easy. that's not who we are.
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>> and for those who chose to lie about the bill, time will expose them. >> i heard one of the republican leaders say this was going to be armageddon. well, you know, two months from now, six months from now, you can check it out. we'll look around. and we'll see. you don't have to take my word for it. >> our special guest tonight senator chris dodd on being inside the white house today as a witness to history. yes mr. vice president, this is a big [ bleep ] deal. the senate takes up the reconciliation fix. can republicans succeed in changing anything to force another vote in the house? more than a dozen states join forces to try to block reform now that it is law. do they have any chance of convincing the court reform is
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unconstitutional? john mccain couldn't stop health care reform so he says he'll just stop working on any other legislation. so why not quit, senator? don't run for re-election. and speaking of quitters, sarah palin's rhetoric gets more incendiary. not only does she tell poepts of reform it is time to reload, she announces her list of democrats to target and she uses cross-hairs. gun cross-hairs to target them. all that and more now on "countdown." good evening from new york. i'm lawrence o'donnell in for keith olbermann. the first hand that president obama shook this morning after signing the health care into law was marcellus owens, an 11-year-old boy, in memory of
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his mother tiffany. she lost her life to a treatable insurance because she did not have insurance and could not afford the basic care she needed. today the fifth grader, wearing a tie matching the president, said it's tough not having my mom around but she has been with me in spirit every time i talk. i hope i've made her proud. marcellus was standing at the president's side when he put pen to paper, make that pens, plural, 22 of them. an invaluable gift the president gives to the luckiest and most powerful dignitaries in the room. with his signature president obama made what once seemed impossible the law of the land. >> today after almost a century of trying, today after over a year of debate, today after all the votes have been tallied
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health insurance reform becomes law in the united states of america. >> earlier in the proceedings vice president biden not accustomed to standing near open microphones after he introduced the president, biden let a very strong word slip into his feelings about the moment. >> ladies and gentlemen, the president of the united states of america, barack obama. >> this is a big [ bleep ] deal. >> thank you. >> no [ bleep ]ing necessary from there on out. nearly every president since teddy roosevelt has tried to enact health care reform of some kind. the 44th president of the united states thanked all of them plus teddy kennedy. >> i'm signing this bill for all the leaders who took up this cause through the generations. from teddy roosevelt to franklin roosevelt.
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from harry truman to lyndon johnson. from bill and hillary clinton to one of the deans who has been fighting this so long, john dingell. to senator ted kennedy. and it is fitting that ted's widow, vicki, is here. i remember seeing ted walk through that door in a summit in this room a year ago, one of his last public appearances. and it was hard for him to make it. but he was confident that we would do the right thing. >> when it came time to talk about the legislation the president said health care reform would soon speak for itself. >> in a few moments when i sign this bill all of the overheated rhetoric over reform will finally confront the reality of reform.
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this year tens of thousands of uninsured americans with pre-existing conditions, the parents of children who have a pre-existing condition will final i will be able to purchase the coverage they need. that happens this year. this year insurance companies will no longer be able to drop people's coverage when they get sick. they won't be able to place life time limits or restrictive annual elemelimits on the amoun care they can receive. this year all new insurance plans will be required to provide free preventive care and young adults will be able to stay on their parents' policies until they are 26 years old. that happens this year. >> president obama talked about the many who had doubted that this day would ever come. >> our presence here today is remarkable and improbable.
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with all the punditry, all of the lobbying, all of the game playing that passes for governing in washington, it's been easy at times to doubt our ability to do such a big thing, such a complicated thing. to wonder if there are limits to what we, as a people, can still achieve. it's easy to succumb to the sense of cynicism about what is possible in this country. but today we are affirming that essential truth. a truth every generation is called to rediscover for itself. that we are not a nation that scales back its aspirations. we are not a nation that falls prey to doubt or mistrust. we don't fall prey to fear. we are not a nation that does what's easy. that's not who we are. that's not how we got here. >> the president concluded by
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saying health care reform isn't about doing what's easy. it's about doing what's right. >> we're a nation that does what is hard, what is necessary, what is right. here in this country we shape our own destiny that is what we do. that is who we are. that is what makes us the united states of america. and we have now just enshrined, as soon as i sign this bill, the core principle that everybody should have some basic security when it comes to their health care. and it is an extraordinary achievement that has happened because of all of you and all the advocates all across the country. so thank you. >> among those at the white house for the signing ceremony was senator chris dodd, chairman of the banking committee. earlier tonight i spoke with the democrat from connecticut about this historic day. mr. chairman, thank you for joining us tonight. this is an historic day and i
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appreciate you are busy on the senate floor tonight. we really appreciate your time. >> thank you, lawrence. good to be with you. >> you were ted kennedy's best friend in the senate. when i was looking at the images in the east room, with his widow vicki, son patrick, niece caroline, i expected at some point the camera was going to pick up that shock of white hair and teddy was going to move in there and throw his arm around you. if teddy had been there today, senator dodd, what would he have told you about what you accomplished? >> well, i think he had a great sense of history. i think he would have reached back and talked about the fact, teddy roosevelt, franklin roosevelt and harry truman. i'm sorry the president didn't mention nixon. richard nixon actually tried to do something on national health care in the first administration. never succeeded. but teddy appreciated the efforts and appreciated the
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efforts as i worked with him in '93 and '94, president clinton tried valiantly in the same vein. the president graciously mentioned his appearance in that's room about a year ago, maybe one of the lasts other than a couple of votes he cast later that spring. the last real public appearance he made as kind of an appeal to get this off the ground. that is the national health care debate and the victory we saw today. so i couldn't help but think of him sort of reaching back to all of the battles, some won, some lost, the piecemeal efforts over the years. he was around for medicare. that battle in the '60s. he was, of course, the author of the children's health initiative. it was a great help when i wrote the family and medical leave act, autism, premature birth, infant screenings, all these pieces trying to fit the puzzle together.
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what was missing was this gap that every single american had the right to health care. i think he would have been thinking of those efforts over the years. >> senator kennedy literally handed you the gavel when he couldn't carry on any longer physically. you had to get this bill through the committee. at what point did you know you weren't going to get any republican cooperation in that committee and did you believe there was no chance of republican cooperation the rest of the way? >> in retrospect i knew pretty early on. as you recall from your days here, you can tell if you have someone you are going to be able to work with or whether or not this is going to be a struggle. they made a conscious decision not to be part of the final effort. that was clear early on. teddy kennedy, senator kennedy tried to work with the minority
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in his committee as he did on so many other issues. >> it seems like the last two months might be the dramatic part of this story. scott brown was elected to massachusetts, plenty of democrats who were strong supporters of this bill who believed it was dead. how did you get this thing back up off the floor and moving? >> i'll tell you something. i don't know if i'm the only person with this view, i think the election of scott brown helped democrats. all of a sudden it wasn't 60-40, it was less than that. it reinvigorated the party. instead of relying on the numbers, it caused us to step back and figure strategically how we would get this over the finish line. the period between the election in massachusetts and the events of the last couple of weeks it was kind of a hiatus. a quieter period. the conference at the blair house which i strongly recommended. i thought it was wise to calm
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down, take a breath, step back, regroup and then go forward. and candidly, i almost think that election in massachusetts actually helped produce the results we saw today. >> turning to financial reform bill. the next big crusade in the senate. you are the chairman of the banking committee. you have a horrible problem on the senate floor where you need 60 votes to move the bill on the senate florida. you need at least one republican to go forward. in what may be the most politically polarized era the senate has ever seen, do you think there is any way you are going find that route to 60 votes in the senate to move that bill forward? >> i do, lawrence. i actually think the events of today and the last couple of days will help in that effort. i can tell you the number of republicans who were never enthusiastic about just say no to everything. they didn't get elected to not
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be at the table to work on issues like the health care debate and this one. i frankly think the just say no strategy was the political equivalency of a high wire act and it failed. now the question is are you going to get to the table and be part? bob corker of tennessee indicated he wanted to work on this bill. richard shelby has worked with us on a number of bills. i think he wants to work on this one, too. >> thank you for your time and congratulations on this historic health care victory. pass on my congratulations to all the committee staff and the senate floor staff involved in getting that through the senate. >> that is a true senate staffer comment. coming up, the final front in the health care fight. the reconciliation fix is being debated in the senate at this hour. can the democrats beat back every republican challenge to change the bill? and sarah palin's latest
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tweet. urging followers to reload on the health care fight. reload what, sarah? any coincidence that in her list of house democrats to target she actually uses cross-hairs? somewhere in america... there's a home by the sea powered by the wind on the plains. there's a hospital where technology has a healing touch. there's a factory giving old industries new life. and there's a train that got a whole city moving again. somewhere in america, the toughest questions are answered every day. because somewhere in america, more than sixty thousand people spend every day answering them. siemens. answers.
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coming up, the senate gets to work on the reconciliation fix to health care reform. the biggest drama isn't whether the democrats have the votes to pass it. the big question is can they get it past the parliamentarian with every word intact? later, senator john mccain is ready to give up on the senate but he still wants to stay in his job. is there any truth to the claims the new reform law is unconstitutional? that's next, this is "countdown." the insurance institute for highway safety calls it a 2010 top safety pick. with automatic crash response from onstar that can call for help, even when you can't.
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health care reform, even if you consider it mostly just insurance reform is now a reality. but the house only passed the senate version after the senate assured the house it would pass a package of fixes and the debate on those fixes began today. the trick for democrats is if a single word changes for those fixes it goes back to the house for another round at a time democrats are eager to move on to other issues. for that reason republicans are trying to force change, any change, no matter how trivial. it is up to the senate parliamentarian. if he sides with republicans the democrats can overrule the parliamentarian but that takes 60 votes. another theoretical option is for vice president joe biden to
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overrule the parliamentarian. so rare that in biden speak it would be a big f'ing deal. they can offer amendments. republican judd gregg wanted to block use of savings for medicare for anything but medicare, but began his remarks by reiterating gop talking points about the bill. >> i wish i could stand here and agree with the senator from montana. i wish as i looked at the bills just passed the house, the trailer bill, the buy it bill, the bill used to purchase the votes that i could say america's children were going to be better off. the people with health care issues in this country are going to be better off but that's impossible to say. why is it impossible to say? because this bill as it passed the house was an atrocity. it was an explosion of
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government the likes of which we've never seen in this country before. >> democratic senator max baucus pointed out the elephant in the room, the opposition to the reform bill in the senate is moot. >> this is a debate we had when we were on the bill. the senate has already considered the arguments made by the senator from new hampshire and others. the senate decided against those arguments. the senate has decided to pass health care reform as has the house of representatives as has -- and the president signed. >> democratic senator tom harkin took aim at the recent republican corus for repeal of the bill basically daring republicans to do what they say they want to do. >> in the near term, however, it is disappointing that some republican legislators may be taking their cue from the more extreme voices on talk radio or
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fox tv, are pledging are repeal this new law. in fact, the distinguished minority leader, republican leader, a couple of weeks ago as a press conference said their motto was going to be this year, if we pass this bill, their motto would be elect republicans. they'll repeal it. this strikes me as bad public policy and quite frankly bad politics. do republicans really want to repeal the ban on denying insurance coverage due to pre-existing coverage? do they want to repeal the ban on insurance companies canceling your policy if you get sick? >> senator baucus conceded to roll call that one or two parts of the fix package might have to be changed which would send it back to the house. that would cause problems for senator michael bennett to revive the public option by inserting it in the reconciliation fix.
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an option that seemed shut off when democrats insisted on no changes to the fix but might be open if the bill has to go back to the house anyway. we are joined by ezra klein, columnist at "newsweek" who covers domestic and economic issues for the "washington post." ezra, if the democrats succeed in changing the reconciliation bill, what happens to the public option in the senate? will bennett be under pressure to then raise the possibility of inserting the public option as an enactmeamendment in the sena? >> my understanding is senator reid made a deal with senator sanders and others to consider the public option later. my guess is democrats decided they want this reconciliation bill passed. they are very, very happy coming off of the signing of the bill today and probably going to stick together procedurally here and not tricked by republicans into tying themselves back into
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knots and reopening old debate. >> i had heard from staff yesterday who med with the parliamentarian that they felt there were maybe one or two pieces of the bill that might not make it past the parliamentarian. i was surprised to hear senator baucus say that publicly. because it seems to me that will give great encouragement to republicans on the floor f they haven't found it yet there must be something they can get struck up by the parliamentarian. >> my hunch is a lot of the democrats were surprised to hear senator baucus say that publicly. on the other hand, you are going to see republicans attempt every challenge they can make. senator gregg has the dreaded three ten g challenge. they can go after little bits and parts of it. if they do get a part of it, a provision struck out and it goes back to the house it isn't the biggest deal in the world. the house doesn't have the
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difficulties passing things that the senate does. nancy pelosi has the votes and democrats are feeling good. the republicans can annoy the democrats but i don't think they can harm them. >> sending it back to the house, that normally happens on these things. i suspect that maybe if baucus was thinking about it, after a big signing ceremony at the white house where this is law there is nothing to worry about, maybe he let it be known there are one or two so the house could prepare psychologically rather than have them come out of the blue and look like wait a minute, the senate is out of control. maybe was he talking to the house saying don't worry if this happens? >> it is always possible. at the end senator baucus might have been engaging hypothetical. it is possible some things change and it goes back to the house. what is relevant for democrats is how up they are feeling. i almost feel like the house democrats would be willing to
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take another crack at things. senator baucus was saying nobody should be surprised but at the end of the day it doesn't strike me as a big deal for ethr chamber. democrats felt better about signing the basic senate bill than they thought and that has done a lot to ease the difficulties between the two chambers. >> there was a thought it would be signed in the middle of night because it was such an embarrassing document. there was a complete change of strategy to make what is going on in the senate a redundant, unnecessary thing for anybody to watch which may be the way they should try to treat it. >> a very smart move. it took the air out of the republican tires. what republicans figures is the senate bill could pass. if they could stop reconciliation that was the point of vulnerability. potentially they could do that procedurally. they could force biden coming in. maybe they could derail reconciliation.
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now that health care reform is already law and now the newspaper headlines have been written and the word historic has been used, the senate bill is just fixes. republicans said today they think it will come into law by the end of this week. they don't seem to be willing to fight this out too much longer. >> ezra klein, thank you for watching the senate floor for us tonight. >> thank you. coming up, senator john mccain gets the sore loser of the year award now that health care reform is law he doesn't want to help make any more laws. why is he promising to be the lazyiest lawmaker in washington? why does sarah palin insist on playing with words that could incite violence? she tells opponents of health care reform to reload and puts out a democrat target list full of gun cross-hairs.
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somewhere in america, the toughest questions are answered every day. because somewhere in america, more than sixty thousand people spend every day answering them. siemens. answers. country first or revenge? now that the health care reform bill has passed, senator john mccain admits he has settled
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comfortably on the latter. he takes a big salary which his wife's wealth renders meaningless and do absolutely no work for it the rest of the year. he is in a primary battle to retain his senate seat and yesterday he went beyond condemning the health care reform bill, speaking to an arizona radio station he declared his intentions for the long term. there will be no cooperation for the rest of the year. they have poisoned the well in what they've done and how they've done it. white house senior advisor david axelrod responded that's okay on the sandlot but not when you are governing the country. it is a disappointing attitude. the mccain camp immediately shot back. mccain spokes woman saying senator john mccain will always stand on the side of the
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american people. get used to it mr. axelrod. that is what strong, independent members do. you'd know that if you had ever worked for one. harry reid couldn't resist taunting mccain. reid's spokesman saying for someone who campaigned on country first and claims to take great pride in bipartisanship, it's absolutely bizarre for senator mccain to tell the american people he is going to take his ball and go home until the next election. he must be living in some parallel universe because the fact is with very few exceptions, we've gotten very little cooperation from senate republicans in recent years. senator mccain, deep breath. calm down. you are not the only senator who lost the presidential election and returned to work in the senate. there is a model for how to do this with dignity while fulfilling your oath to serve
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the people without violating your loyalty to your party. he's a bit younger than you are, but served in the same war. like you, he is a decorated navy man and he has much to teach you about controlling your temper and preserving your dignity. he's right there across the aisle. you can talk to him. he still likes you. the navy bond is stronger than the senate bond. go ahead. ask john kerry how he does it. let's bring in "washington post" associate editor, pulitzer prize winning columnist eugene robinson. good evening, gene. gene, we are looking at a 73-year-old senator who will be 74 by the time he is re-elected if he is re-elected and he is asking the voters of arizona to keep him on as their senator until he is 80 for what possible
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reason after just confessing that he is no longer capable of doing the job? >> well, lawrence, you rep tip o'neill said all politics is local. for john mccain all politics is personal. i think clearly the defeat at the hands of president obama in 2008 still rankles, really rankles for senator mccain. and i think he has decided that he wants to leave the senate on his own terms, not on j.d. hayworth's terms, his certain primary opponent in arizona. and so he has taken a stand. it is a bizarre stand to say send me back here, and by the way, i'm not going to do anything. >> with mccain there is always the question of his personality, of his character, of what is really going on here. in his case, the question arises, is this just pure bitterness? the people who know him say that he's capable of steaming for a
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while and holding a grudge and acting this way just out of his own emotional reaction to things. >> well, you saw it at the end of the campaign, lawrence. you saw his, frankly, eradratic reaction to the financial crisis. it is one of the main reasons he lost the election or lost the election by the margin he did. he didn't give the impression of being a cool, steady hand in a crisis. and he, you know, emotion fuels him. at times it has served him well and at times it has served him ill. i believe it is not at all serving him well now either in his primary contest or in terms of his pledge to serve as best he can for the citizens of arizona. >> eugene, for me, as a watchers of politicians, they never, never become more interesting to me than they do in defeat. it is in defeat where you see where the real character is or what is left of the real
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character. and the mccain performance in defeat has been far below the dignified reactions we've seen by others, al gore, for example, who had plenty of reason to be bitter, to be angry, left the stage without rancor when the final vote was cast in the supreme court. where does mccain rank in the recent models of how to lose gracefully? >> clearly, well below average. you mentioned john kerry and al gore. you saw the classy way in which hillary clinton handled her defeat in the primaries. it's -- it does tell us an awful lot about a politician's character to watch them deal with disappointment and john mccain is not dealing with it well now. and again, i think it's going to hurt him.
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i think it's going to hurt him in his primary battle. >> and in history. eugene robinson, of the "washington post" and msnbc, thank you for your time tonight. >> good to be here, lawrence. john mccain's running mate crossing the line yet again. the half governor tweets it is time to reload in the health care fight. melissa harris-lacewell on the dangerous path we are going down among the tea party followers. is the law president obama signed today constitutional? when rachel joins you at the top of the hour, she will be a guest on her own show responding to fears from senate scott brown she will be his opponent in 2012. outside. i can stream the movie "airplane" to my cell phone... at the airport. i can have a crystal-clear videoconference with my clients... ...muffin basket or something... ...while working offsite, or share five high-speed connections for online gaming...
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they call it being responsible. when it's an insurance company, they call it liberty mutual. responsibility. what's your policy? liberty mutual. ( sniffing ) missing something? now at sears optical, get 2 pairs of glasses for $99.99. with bifocals just $25 more per pair. sears optical. don't miss a thing. coming up, federal law trumps state law in the constitution. more than a dozen states filed suit to block health care reform making the case it is just not
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legal. later after a weekend of ugly protests and spitting on elected government officials melissa harris-lacewell joins us to explain the conduct we are seeing now is worse than what we saw during the civil rights struggle. that's next. this the "countdown." munity. we can't move forward until you mail it back. 2010 census. so, doctor... i've been thinking... no. you know how... no. so, doc, i've got this friend... [ male announcer ] talking to your doctor about erectile dysfunction isn't easy. actually, doc, there is something i want to talk to you about. [ male announcer ] but it's definitely a conversation worth having. twenty million men have had their viagra talk. when you're ready for yours, visit for helpful conversation starters and to learn how viagra can help.
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unconstitutional. it should be noted the complaint files by the state attorneys general lacks any specific case law. there is no case law in the complaint to budget res the claim that the bill is actually unconstitutional. for an overview, our correspondent is pete williams. >> we simply can't have washington make the rules and we get stuck with the bill. >> reporter: 14 states and counting. >> an unprecedented expansion. >> the individual mandate held unconstitutional. >> reporter: attorneys general from all over the nation nearly all of them republican are challenging the health care bill in court. >> we are challenging the mandate that anybody has to buy a health care policy or suffer a policy. >> reporter: the new law does something the government has never done before, requiring people to buy something sold by
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private companies. the constitution gives congress broad powers to regulate commerce, that gives dong power to regulate how cars are made and sold, congress can't make you buy one. >> congress can no more make you buy insurance than make you buy a gm car to help the government. >> but supporters of the law says congress has broad power to regulate things that end up having an effect on the economy. it adds up when people without insurance go to the emergency room for their health care. >> it's part of the whole scheme of things to say that, you know, you can't just slack off and assume that somebody's going to take care of you if you have some sort of emergency. >> reporter: tonight the justice department says it will vigorously defend the law. some legal experts defend the lawsuits as a long shot. they raise a question the courts
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have never directly answered. >> i'm not a lawyer, but i occasionally play one on tv. in my humble opinion the case will not turn on the commerce clause, but the power to tax. in a previous life i wrote tax law and i can assure you there is no question that the federal government has the power to tax. the obama administration doesn't like to call the penalty for not having health insurance a tax, but that is exactly what it is. it is enforced by the irs and that's what they will call it in court. they will simply argue that having health insurance allows you a small tax credit that you won't get if you don't have health insurance. and a minimum of five justices on the supreme court, if it ever gets to them, will see it that way. coming up, sarah palin releases a target list of democrats to go after in the next election. in marking the districts she uses gun cross-hairs. and in a separate message she
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tells supporters to reload. melissa harris-lacewell joins me with more on what's wrong with this disturbing picture. - apple or cherry? - cherry. oil or cream? oil or cream? cream. some use hydrogenated oil. reddi-wip uses real dairy cream. nothing's more real than reddi-wip.
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>> in case you needed another sign that the ram from the right is rising to a dangerous boiling point, a new poll shows that nearly 40% of republicans believe president obama is doing many of the things that hitler did. and now the half term governor of alaska is encouraging those angered by the democrats in health care reform to reload. sarah palin taking time off from negotiating a multimillion dollar reality show deal to tweet commonsense conservatives and lovers of america, don't reteat. instead, red load.
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palin directing followers to facebook. with the president signing this unwanted and transformative takeover health care system today with promises impossible to keep, let's not get discouraged. she supplies her flock with a hit list of 20 democrats to target in the 2010 elections. all house members who voted in favor of obama care. we're going to fire them and send them back to the private sector which has been shrinking thanks to their destructive government-growing practices. palin provides supporters with a map of the districts currently held with the targeted dems location through gun cross-hairs. with three of the 20 dems retiring palin wants to focus attention on holding the others accountable for their disastrous
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vote. warning, we'll aim for these races and many others. meanwhile, some disturbing numbers unearthed by the latest harris poll showing the majority of republicans believe that president obama is a socialist and a muslim. 45% of the gop believe the birther line saying mr. obama was not born in the u.s. 38% of americans believe the president is doing many of the things hitler did and perhaps the most demented group, a major polling firm has ever exposed, 24% of republicans say that obama may be the antichrist. joining me now is associate professor of politics and african-american studies at princeton, columnist for the "nation" magazine, melissa harris-lacewell. good evening, professor.
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polling results rather troubling. you have written in the nation recently about a vicious new jim crow terrorism. in those polling results do you have what you need to almost prove it? >> well, not quite. one of the things i would like to know is who else they might think the antichrist is. >> follow-up questions for the poll. >> that's right. i would like to know a little more. what i will say is one of the sort of biggest steps that america took over the past 50 years was enormous sea change in pill on race, gender roles, an opening in the american system. in the 1940s and '50s, you had people willing to say racial discriminatory things, gender discriminatory things, by the time you got to 2008 people were unlikely to report them in a poll. so the reason i find these poll results so sort of anxiety
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producing it is an indication the kind of socially acceptable lid we have kept on these kinds of beliefs may be bubbling off the pot with some boiling anxiety underbeneaneath. >> we saw the spectacle of congressman john lewis, a former civil rights marcher, being spat on, yelled at. much worse happened to him then, severe physical violence. >> that is hard for americans who know that history to watch. to see this same person, this same body being attacked on questions of race. for me there was this interesting shift because remember when he was marching as a young demonstrator, he was marching against the state, against the government saying that he had the right as did other african-americans to be full citizens. now -- >> and was being beaten by
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agents of the government from those states. >> absolutely. now, in this context it is the racists who are the outsiders and he is an agent of the state now, right? on the one hand you see enormous transition. but it calls us to say this is not just a matter bigotry or race. people are challenging lewis or obama to be making policy. they are duly elected leaders. >> part of this notion they don't have the right to do this has to do with their race and holding those positions? >> i have to say it looked so much to me like -- >> i mean when you hear the epitaphs it raises that question. >> it does. because it looks like the turn of the century film "birth of a
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nation," 19 15r15 which looked on different kinds of people holding office and the country had been lost and backed up with states rights language, the same secessionist language we hear going on, we see in the lawsuit, saying the federal government doesn't have the right to tell us what to do is what the civil war was about. it was about establishing that the federal government does have the right to make policy for the nation. >> now turning to sarah palin. i'm not one who believes she's trying to incite violence. i mean, i'd have to give her a very big benefit of the doubt this is what it sounds like when you are a hunter from alaska. there are enough people around her to say, you know what, when you say target a politician in a country that suffered assassinations, you don't use cross-hairs. you have to use other symbols. is she out of it or this is an indication this movement likes
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to move in that provocative direction. >> i appreciate she said she is going to fire them. that is what democracy is. you are meant to, if you don't like the representatives, run for office or vote for someone else. i do know that there should be a kind of carefulness about people in public life. i think this is part of what sarah palin made a decision to do when she quit the role of an elected leader, have the responsibilities of being careful. she went rogue and made a decision she is going organize on facebook and twitter. i love twitter so not to demean it. >> how many followers do you have? >> i think i'm up to 12,000. come on. join the party. yet, this notion she has so little responsibility she would use cross hairs to talk about an appropriate action, a democrat with a little -- people who


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